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Statement by Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory after protesters stormed U.S. Capitol and disrupted electoral vote count

Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory participates in a November 2019 discussion at Georgetown University. (Archdiocese of Washington photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann)

(The following statement was issued by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.)

“Our United States Capitol is sacred ground and a place where people over the past centuries have rightly demonstrated, representing a wide variety of opinions.  We Americans should honor the place where our nation’s laws and policies are debated and decided.  We should feel violated when the legacy of freedom enshrined in that building is disrespected and desecrated. 

“I pray for safety – of our elected officials, staffers, workers, protesters, law enforcement personnel, and neighbors to the United States Capitol.  There are injuries and tremendous harm, including reports about the loss of life.  Together, we must intentionally pause and pray for peace in this critical moment. The divisive tone that has recently so dominated our national conversations must change.  Those who resort to inflammatory rhetoric must accept some responsibility for inciting the increasing violence in our nation.

 “We are called to be a people of democratic values that respect the opinions of others, even when we disagree with them.  As people of faith seeking to bring our Lord into this world by how we live, we must acknowledge the human dignity of those with whom we disagree and seek to work with them to ensure the common good for all.”